Natural Hair: Love It!

i am planning a post on my undying love for the 49ers, but got sidetracked while websurfing…bcz isnt that what the internet is for? lol.  anyway i was perusing newly natural under the products sections and started reading the comments.  ever notice how the  comments are often the most interesting part of a post?  really tells you who is reading the article.  while reading these comments, i felt a strong sense of nostalgia come over me.  reading posts saying “i cant get my hair to do what i want” or “my curls are too tight, i want loose curls!” reminded me of when i first went natural.  however, when i did, there were no wonderful websites like Black Girl With Long Hair or Nappturality.  So…basically i didn’t know what the HELL i was doing! lol.  i mean clueless.  i let my perm grow out and was surprised to find out i didn’t have hair like Rachel True or Jada Pinkett.  Umm, my curls aren’t cute and tameable!  WTF?  But I didn’t give up…mostly because of the reason i went natural in the first place…a bad breakup had me angry at the world.  I felt like i had been treated unfairly and want to project that anger to everyone!  And to me, going natural and wearing my fro was Angela-Davis scare-the-white-people perfect.  So i didnt know anything abt twists or bantu knots.  my hair looked as angry as i felt and i loved it.  then i decided to do the big chop.  i had already fully transitioned, but i was still angry so i stopped wearing makeup, kept a permanent scowl and went for the fade.  As my hair grew, my anger receded and i actually started to get curious on styling my hair. 

what was interesting is that although i didnt know what i was doing, i knew that there was more to the hair thing than the actual hair.  i would try to style it, but it never quite looked right to my eyes.  i went to a salon once or twice to pay $100 for the saddest two strand twists i’d ever seen in my life 😦  Finally i realized it wasnt just the hair, it was me!  i had been trained by society on what looked good on my own head, and i could not appreciate what i had.  my hair was BEAUTIFUL but i couldnt get past the 3c look.  my hair is 4c all the way, maybe a tiny bit 4b in the front.  it did not flow in long locks down my back like i had expected.  just because i got rid of my perm didnt mean my hair would miraculously turn into the hair i saw on tv.  But i began to see artists like Angie Stone with afros, and then erykah badu came (who knew that was a wig?!) and it began to be cool to be natural.  i could see women with hair like mine ROCKING IT and it became ok that i had short kinky hair.  i started to counsel myself about my hair:  don’t replace one daydream with another.   I didnt want to have Erykah Badu hair, i wanted MY HAIR!  it was all about finding the love for my own hair and appreciating it in any state…poofy, straight, frizzy, silky…it’s all mine and it is gorgeous.  Just the way it grows from my head, the way God made it is gorgeous.  Once i started to really believe that, in real life, i felt truly free and more in love with my hair than with any man.  when i met my husband, i had braids and i told him to not get used to them because i am NAPPY AND HAPPY!  loving my kinky hair went a long way towards helping me love myself and i think it is an important step for any natural.  Black hair is a topic that can launch a thousand articles, but i just wanted to drop this one for you real quick…it is now 10:16 and i must force myself to go to bed!  but i am planning many more hair posts, including products as i am totally a product junkie.

here is the comment i left on newly natural:

i have been natural since 2001 and am still learning abt my hair all the time.  1st embrace your hair and its quirks…humidity? dryness? tight curls? work it!  first, most of us wanted 3c/4a/tracee ellis ross hair, and not everyone has that.  if your hair dsnt have that loose curl naturally, you can create it with a twist out or braid out.  no money for products? a spray bottle of water, some shea butter and you can have beautiful twistouts.  want length w/out flat-ironing? stretch out the hair.  wear it in a bun, or try bantu knots…when you take the hair dwn you’ll have some length.  it wont be perfectly straight, but if you are going natural, you will have to give up the straightness of the perm.  you can go to the salon for a blowout/flatiron for that same look, but if you live in a humid area, that wont work!!!!  now there are some brazilian products that will keep the hair straight, but even white girls are telling me how the effect last for 3-4 wks, and they cldnt get their curls back.  you run the risk of a.) damaging your hair and b.) losing your curl action until your hair reverts back and sometimes it never does.
it took me a while, but i have figured out how to make my hair achieve all the looks you see in the media, without artificially changing my hair texture. ladies it is possible!  but its not just about changing your hair, its about changing YOUR MIND.  you can have beautiful hair, but you have to change what YOU think is beautiful, or it will still look ugly to you.

hairWhy am i getting mean-mugged in the mirror? lol

WHAT. IS. UP. !!!

I HAVE TO SAY it is good … no it’s GREAT to be back! writing that is. i recently read a post from the feminist collective talking about not reading for pleasure as we grow up. i have had the opposite problem, doing nothing but reading for pleasure! but allowing my writing to become nonexistent. I blogged, ranted, cursed and told it like it was! i was part of several activist collectives, and monthly writing blogs, and internet columns…all while writing a book on my family history.

And then I fell in love, for real.
And got pregnant.
And got married.
In that order.

Now I have two children, eight years has passed, and two months after having my daughter, I feel this … urge to go back to myself. i really felt like i kinda lost myself along the way. checking out blogs from folks like new black man (exile) and queer black feminist had me all nostalgic. oh, and that history book? not done! even though i participate in nanowrimo every year lol. well, halfheartedly participate. although it was halfway done and that is a whole other post.

anyway, back on topic…

which i will do alot, bcz i tend to have lots of mental mind leaps that seem to go everywhere, but i promise they all link to one another.

while reading black feminist’s blog, the nostalgia hit me very hard, because she lives and describes my hometown, the bay area. and i miss it so. it is in my blood, and helped make me the mad ranter i am. and it just hit me…i live in the south, living in indignance at the oft-times purposeful ignorance of those around, and i miss living in a place where the norm is tolerance, and activism and education, even when you are hood as all get out! i love cali’s mixture of ghetto intelligence. and i’m just not getting that here in the south. i do live in a major city, that likes to think of itself as progressive for it’s state. but in real life, it just wears a slightly tolerant mask, that flys off instantly any time racial or financial cages are rattled.

damn, i miss california. especially berkeley and oakland. the berkeley flea market. macarthur bart station where i bought my incense and issey miyake oil from the dreded dude that hung out there. there is no good vibrations here! no spengers! no telegraph street! no amoeba music, no annapurna, no marsh nxt to the fwy, no buffalo exchange, no embarcadero, no sf sourdough co with clam chowder in a bread bowl in the foggy mist while my hair poofs out…

ok i’m done complaining.

anyway, having a daughter has made me feel some kinda way for real. my son was a miracle birth, and she is the miracle baby. we had some complications, but she came through it like nothing was ever wrong. although the daddy’s girl syndrome has already started with a vengeance (yes i am totally jealous), i see myself. i see all my hopes and dreams inside this tiny opinionated infant like looking in a mirror. i want her to be whatever she wants, dont get me wrong; i dnt wnt to push my ambitions onto her. but looking at her, i see all the things i wanted for myself as still possible. If i could have this beautiful miracle baby, i CAN do everything i always wanted. i don’t have to be stuck in this life of average job with average expectations. i want more. i am more. i always have been, but i dropped all those things that i am trying to be what i thought i should be. the working mother took over the angry activist who railed against injustice in person and all over the page and internet. i tried to be the good obedient wife to the detriment of my own needs…not that my husband wanted that…i was just overdoing what i thought i was supposed to do in that role. isnt that what us black women do historically? save the world and neglect ourselves?

yeah.

done doing that.

i didnt make any ny resolutions, and am still not going to. but i am writing again! thank you God! from this, many things will spring. first, i have made a place to make myself heard, to tell the world (even if no one is listening actively) how i feel and what i think. that is something i have always wanted, to be heard and to be engaged in debate and conversation. so now that i’m writing again, i can extend blog posts into that book. and move back into activism in the real world, where black girls are in dire straits, and black boys are dying everyday.

i feel so happy and hopeful.

see what a few words can do? lol

i will start the real posts next.

1st topic: Turnstyle Taylor Swift. WOOO!